Summer Life-Drawing Workshops

The Summer life drawing workshops were very successful this year, I was glad to see that everybody seemed to have a good time and hopefully learned a bit about observation and figure drawing. A very jolly but slightly exhausting day!!!

For those of you who couldn't make it I have included some pictures of Kit, which you can use for figure drawing practice. I have also included a handout explaining the basic principles of gesture drawing, contour drawing and producing a finished picture.


Gesture drawing is essentially any drawing which attempts to capture action or movement. This exploration of action helps you to better understand the extensions of the muscles- the effects of twisting on the body and the natural range of motion in the joints. The aim is to reinforce the importance of movement, action and direction- which can be overlooked during a long drawing. The rapidity of the execution is more concerned with the essence of the pose and an economy of means in its representation-rather than a careful study of light on a form. The fast pace of gesture drawing helps you to loosen up to avoid a stiff drawing style. This kind of rapid drawing of the figure builds (through lots of practice) an instinctive understanding of human proportion. Once you begin measuring, rubbing out, shading or improving your picture- you’re not gesture drawing- you have begun rendering. -Draw on a large scale from the shoulder -Keep the pencil moving -Aim to get the emotion, the feel of the pose -Only one minute per pose


Always start your figure pictures with a gesture drawing-don’t feel it’s something just for practice. 1. Find the line of the pose (gesture line or line of action) as your first few simple marks.

2.Mark in the directions of the rest of the body ie the arms shoulders hips and legs. Check that the angles are accurate.

3.Sketch in balloons, cylinders or cubes for head, ribcage and pelvis legs and arms.

4.At this stage hands and feet can be paddles

5.Fill out your drawing with contour-carefully look at he curves of the figure and let them fall easily over your block figure.Check proportions as you go. Look carefully at the musculature.

6.Rub out any of the earlier sketch shapes if no longer required.

7.Refine,shade and highlight reserving the white of the paper for the lightest tone only.

8. Deal with ‘outline’- observe which parts of the figure are lighter or darker than the background and shade accordingly so the outline dissolves.

9. Refine, shade and highlight.



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